Friday, January 29, 2010
I loved the movie UP. One of my favorite lines from the movie is "Squirrel!" You remember. Dug the dog regularly gets distracted by squirrels. Even when he's in the middle of a sentence, a squirrel captures his attention and in a millisecond, he switches his focus.
That is so me! I tend to holler squirrel as frequently as Dug. I think I need to get one of those cone thingies to put around my head. Still, I doubt it would help much.
I currently have four major books I'm either writing or contemplating. The problem is, I love them all and my heart is being pulled in each direction. I'll be in the middle of one and - SQUIRREL! - attention drawn to another. Then I'll write a few thousand words on that one and - SQUIRREL! - I'm distracted by the next one.
Here are my four current "squirrels."
1. Madi Lee in Love (did you catch that play of words on Madly in love? If not, I may need another title), which is the sequel to Mind over Madi, the manuscript currently in the hands of a couple of agents. If either agent is wise enough to represent me (for those who might be raising their eyebrows at my ego, that was said very tongue-in-cheek), I will most likely need to begin writing book number 2 in my projected three-book series. This idea excites me, as it not only means someone other than my mother absolutely believes in this book, but because I adore the characters and would love to continue Madi's story.
2. Dead Weight. This book is about 30,000 words in and has finaled in / won a couple of contests (Genesis 2009, FaithWriters Page Turner, and Phoenix Rattler-does your story have bite?). The characters are fun and quirky and I'm having a blast with the whole mystery part of it, even if I underrated the ease of mystery plotting. I even received some wonderful encouragement this week from an editor with a major Christian publishing company, fueling my desire to see this book finished in time to pitch at the ACFW conference in September.
3. Three Wishes. I was up to about 30,000 words last year and I set this ms aside to focus on finishing and submitting Mind over Madi. I did enter 3W in last year's Genesis and it did not final, despite getting two scores in the high nineties. (That 69 did me in. Oy). I recently read through the whole thing after letting it sit idle for many months and I fell in love with the story again. I hope to polish it up and enter it again in the Genesis this year. This ms also finaled in the Phoenix Rattler - Does your story have bite? contest and the first 10 pages are currently in the final round of judging. There is apparently potential there, plus I love the story and the characters, so my heart is being pulled in this novel's direction, too.
4. Unplugged. YA. Yes, I know...completely different genre, although I think my voice would fit in well here. I'm not going to go into detail about the specifics of this book, since it's only in the head-plotting stage. I did enter the first 500 words in a YA contest recently. We'll see what happens with that. But this is a project I feel could be a hit, not to mention the lower word count requirements of a YA totally appeal to me.
SO...for any agent or editor who happens to be reading this (hey, I have the right to my own fantasies), I can focus. I really can! Honestly, I thrive on deadlines, and am extremely motivated by expert advice and encouragement. Basically what I'm saying is, someone please tell me what to do! And give me a gentle kick in the pants while you're at it.
I suppose the good thing is that I now have several projects to keep me busy and will probably never be short on ideas. I think I'm just trying to figure out where I fit in and where my passion lies.
Please tell me I'm not the only Dug. Tell me about the squirrels in your life. And how do you handle your SQUIRREL! moments?